13/07/2012 Newswatch


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Now it is time for Newswatch. This week, viewers' questions about


Welcome to Newswatch. Later, should Andy Murray's semi-final victory at


Wimbledon have displaced the local news? First, the top could debate


programme Question Time has been a staple of the BBC One schedule for


years. The format is simple - with a


stupor and -- studio audience putting questions to a panel


typically consisting of politicians from the three major parties, along


with two others. One of the others last week was John Lydon,


previously known as Johnny Rotten from the Sex Pistols. You do agree


that a crime has been committed? The former punk rocker's appears


It was iffy. This is not the first time Question Time guests have


raised controversy. Pop stars have appeared before. That is what turns


people off politics. As have comedians. They are allowed to


strike! And newspaper journalists. They are the most disloyal


creatures ever. And the winners of reality TV shows. I don't have a �2


million house. The appearance of Katie Hopkins aroused the ire at


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 51 seconds


Some viewers have wondered how the Achieving the right balance in the


audience and on the panel has been the goal of Question Time


throughout its 33 years on air, but has that goal been achieved? To


face the public's questions today, I am joined by the executive


producer of Question Time, Steve Anderson. What was your thinking


behind putting Johnny Rotten on Question Time? Is he a Question


Time person? The Sex Pistols and Johnny Rotten had legendary status.


A lot of our audience will remember that. We thought it would be good


to get him on in the programme leading up to the Queen's jubilee.


We found out he was a big Question Time fan, but could not make it


that week. He had a gig booked. But we talked about maybe getting him


on to another show, and he could do this date, so that was how it came


about. Another of the US says the BBC likes provocative questions,


extreme guests and aggressive presenters. You like stirring


things up. Was Johnny Rotten almost too well-behaved for your liking?


Interestingly, some of the people who have criticised his performance


almost wanted him to give a torrent of abuse and have me fired at the


end of the show. Because that did not happen, they were disappointed.


You have had pop stars and people from reality shows. Is that


designed it to attract a younger audience? It is designed to broaden


the appeal of the programme as much as possible. Over the years,


particularly since we went to a fifth panellist on the show, we


have broadened the franchise of the programme. There was a feeling that


it was becoming too much a prisoner of Westminster and that if it was


just dominated by politicians, they could all understand each other,


but it was excluding a large part of the audience. The beauty of


Question Time is that it brings in a broader audience and shines a


light on what is going on at Westminster. Having these


independent, freewheeling, outspoken people helps broaden the


franchise. In is there a danger that sometimes, they might not be


as well-informed as your average member? That can happen. Everybody


who comes on the programme has been spoken to at length by our team, at


least two research concessions to find out if they are clued-up


enough on the stories of the day and have something to add. On this


occasion, Johnny Rotten, or rather John Lydon, came out on three


separate occasions with good points. He had things to say about the


LIBOR scandal. He had a very provocative thing to say about the


legalisation of drugs and took the audience on over the year Brady


case. It was informed political stuff. We have had other people on


who, when it has come to the crunch, the nerves have got to them, which


is understandable. Even Johnny Rotten said it was the biggest gig


he had ever had. One political question from a viewer. He wants to


know why, in the days of a coalition, why you still give a


separate lot for both the Conservatives and the Lib Dems? He


says that on balances things and they should only have one of them.


Are all in different territory with the coalition government. But the


next election will be fought by the three parties individually. They


are still three separate parties. And as with last week, if we have a


minister on who is a Liberal Democrat, we will seek to have a


more independent, free-thinking Conservative backbencher on the


programme. We do not seek to put on a Lib Dem minister and a


Conservative minister. We will put on a minister from one of the


parties and a backbencher from one of the other parties. If we didn't


do that, we would be in danger of under representing one of the major


political parties in the UK. viewer complained about rows of


lefties in the audience. How do you choose the audience, and what sort


of balance do you try to achieve? Were do achieve balance. Each


member of the audience is spoken to by the audience research team, and


their voting intentions are recorded. Their past voting record


is recorded, and they are compiled with that in mind. We have a fair


proportion of Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrats and other


minority party voters. Now, what else has got the


attention of BBC News viewers this week? Wimbledon aficionados can


shelve their hopes of a British men's singles winner for another


year. After the disappointment came the


painful public display. The support has been incredible, so thank you.


But before we forget the triumph and tears of Marray and Murray,


here is a parting shot on the decision to show Murray's semi-


final on BBC One instead of the And the complaints continued beyond


It has been a week of technical problems for the BBC's internet


services. A major technical issue let the website down on Wednesday


evening. The iPlayer also went off line, while for a couple of days,


the website selection of the day's was popular stories actually showed


material that was a month old. Alex Wilson was one of those


The BBC apologise for the problem, which was fixed by Thursday.


For finally, it was goodbye this week to one bastion of BBC News,


Bush House. Until now, the home of the BBC World Service. The service,


which has programmes in 28 languages, has been broadcast from


the imposing building in central London since 1941. Now the BBC is


moving out and into a new extension of Broadcasting House, a mile or


two away, where Newswatch will also move after next week. This was the


final sign-off from Bush House on Thursday. So, the World Service and


the news goes on, just not from here. From Bush House, that is the


And it is goodbye from us, too. Thanks for your comments this week.


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